Sura/Chapter:

Verse:    Count: 182
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Translations:
37: As-Saaffat - الصافات

37:1
[ Original ]
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ وَالصَّافَّاتِ صَفًّا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
By those who range themselves in ranks,
[ Saheeh International ]
By those [angels] lined up in rows
Tafseer Commentary

4030 At a later stage, we shall study the general meaning of the adjurations in the Qur'an indicated by the particle wa. See App. XI, p. 1694. Here we may note that the last Surah (Ya Sin) practically began with the adjuration "by the Qur'an, full of wisdom", emphasising the fact that Revelation was the evidence by which we could learn the highest wisdom of the spiritual world. Here our attention is called in three verses or clauses, to three definite attitudes which illustrate the triumph of Good and the frustration of Evil. See the notes following.

4031 Two questions arise: (1) are the doers of the three things noted in verses 1-3 the same persons, whose actions or qualities are differently described, or are they three distinct sets of persons? (2) in either case, who are they? As to (1) the most authoritative view is that the three clauses describe the same set of persons in different aspects. As to (2) some take them to refer to angels, and others understand by them the good men, the men of God, who strive and range themselves in Allah's service. The words are perfectly general, and I interpret them to refer to both classes. The feminine form is grammatically used in Arabic idiom for the indefinite plural. In 37:165 below, the word saffun is used in the definite plural, and seems to be spoken by these beings, angels or men of God or both, according to how we interpret this verse.


37:2
[ Original ]
فَالزَّاجِرَاتِ زَجْرًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And so are strong in repelling (evil),
[ Saheeh International ]
And those who drive [the clouds]
Tafseer Commentary

4032 The three acts in verses 1-3 are consecutive, as shown by the particle fa. I understand them to mean that angels and good men (1) are ever ready to range themselves in ranks in the service of Allah and work in perfect discipline and accord at all times; (2) that they check and frustrate evil wherever they find it and they are strengthened in doing so by their discipline and their ranging themselves in ranks; and (3) that this service furthers the Kingdom of Allah and proclaims His Message and His glory to all creation.


37:3
[ Original ]
فَالتَّالِيَاتِ ذِكْرًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And thus proclaim the Message (of Allah.!
[ Saheeh International ]
And those who recite the message,

37:4
[ Original ]
إِنَّ إِلَٰهَكُمْ لَوَاحِدٌ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Verily, verily, your Allah is one!-
[ Saheeh International ]
Indeed, your God is One,
Tafseer Commentary

4033 That divine Message is summed up in the gospel of Divine Unity, on which the greatest emphasis is laid: "verily, verily your God is One". It is a fact intimately connected with our own life and destiny.' Your Lord is one Who cares for you and cherishes you; you are dear to Him. And He is One. it is only He that you have to look to, the source of all goodness, love, and power. You are not the sport of many contending, forces or blind chances. There is complete harmony and unity in heaven and you have to put yourselves into unison with it-by discipline in ranks, by unity of plan and purpose in repelling evil, and by concerted action in promoting the Kingdom of God.' Here is the mystery of the manifold variety of creation pointing to the absolute Unity of the Creator.


37:5
[ Original ]
رَبُّ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا وَرَبُّ الْمَشَارِقِ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Lord of the heavens and of the earth and all between them, and Lord of every point at the rising of the sun!
[ Saheeh International ]
Lord of the heavens and the earth and that between them and Lord of the sunrises.
Tafseer Commentary

4034 Allah is the Lord of everything that exists-'the heavens and the earth, and all between them'. He is the Lord of the Maskariq-of every point at the rising of the sun. As the Commentators tell us, there are in the solar year only two equinoctial days, when the sun rises due east: on every other the sun rises at a shifting point either north or south of due east. In 7:137 we have mashariq al ardi wa magharibaha, where the plural of the words for East and West is negligible, as the conjunction of the two embraces all points. The same may be said of 70:40, where Allah is called "Lord of all points in the East and the West". If we are speaking of longitudes, they may embrace all latitudes. In 55:17 Allah is called "Lord of the two Easts and the two Wests", referring to the extreme points in either case. A cursory reader may ask, why is only the East referred to here? The reply is that it is not so much the East as the rising of the sun, on which stress is laid. The Arabic mashriq or mashariq is close enough to the root word sharaqa, to suggest, not so much the East as the rising of the sun, especially when the plural form is used. The glorious sun rises from different points, as seen by us, but it illuminates the whole heaven and earth. It is an emblem of Unity.


37:6
[ Original ]
إِنَّا زَيَّنَّا السَّمَاءَ الدُّنْيَا بِزِينَةٍ الْكَوَاكِبِ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
We have indeed decked the lower heaven with beauty (in) the stars,-
[ Saheeh International ]
Indeed, We have adorned the nearest heaven with an adornment of stars
Tafseer Commentary

4035 Cf. 67:3-5.

4036 'Stars' may be taken here in the popular sense, as referring to fixed stars, planets, comets, shooting stars, etc. On a clear night the beauty of the starry heavens is proverbial. Here they are meant to illustrate two points: (1) their marvellous beauty and their groupings and motions (apparent or real) manifest and typify the Design and Harmony of the One true Creator: and (2) the power and glory behind them typify that there is a guard against the assaults of Evil (see verse 7 below).


37:7
[ Original ]
وَحِفْظًا مِنْ كُلِّ شَيْطَانٍ مَارِدٍ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
(For beauty) and for guard against all obstinate rebellious evil spirits,
[ Saheeh International ]
And as protection against every rebellious devil
Tafseer Commentary

4037 Verses 7-11 seem to refer to shooting stars- Cf. 15:17 -18, and notes n. 1951-53. The heavens typify not only beauty but power. The Good in Allah's world is guarded and protected against every assault of Evil. The Evil is not part of the heavenly system: it is a thing in outlawry, merely a self-willed rebellion-"cast away on every side, repulsed under a perpetual penalty" (verses 8-9).


37:8
[ Original ]
لَا يَسَّمَّعُونَ إِلَى الْمَلَإِ الْأَعْلَىٰ وَيُقْذَفُونَ مِنْ كُلِّ جَانِبٍ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
(So) they should not strain their ears in the direction of the Exalted Assembly but be cast away from every side,
[ Saheeh International ]
[So] they may not listen to the exalted assembly [of angels] and are pelted from every side,
Tafseer Commentary

4038 We can form a mental picture of the Court of the Most High, in the highest heaven, conforming to the highest idea we can form of goodness, beauty, purity, and grandeur. The Exalted Assembly of angels is given some knowledge of the Plan and Will of Allah. Evil is altogether foreign to such an atmosphere, but is actuated by feelings of jealousy and curiosity. It tries to approach by stealth and overhear something from the august Assembly. It is repulsed and pursued by a flaming fire, of which we can form some idea in our physical world by the piercing trail of a shooting star.


37:9
[ Original ]
دُحُورًا ۖ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ وَاصِبٌ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Repulsed, for they are under a perpetual penalty,
[ Saheeh International ]
Repelled; and for them is a constant punishment,

37:10
[ Original ]
إِلَّا مَنْ خَطِفَ الْخَطْفَةَ فَأَتْبَعَهُ شِهَابٌ ثَاقِبٌ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Except such as snatch away something by stealth, and they are pursued by a flaming fire, of piercing brightness.
[ Saheeh International ]
Except one who snatches [some words] by theft, but they are pursued by a burning flame, piercing [in brightness].
Tafseer Commentary

4039 See last note and Cf. 15:18 and notes n. 1953-54.


37:11
[ Original ]
فَاسْتَفْتِهِمْ أَهُمْ أَشَدُّ خَلْقًا أَمْ مَنْ خَلَقْنَا ۚ إِنَّا خَلَقْنَاهُمْ مِنْ طِينٍ لَازِبٍ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Just ask their opinion: are they the more difficult to create, or the (other) beings We have created? Them have We created out of a sticky clay!
[ Saheeh International ]
Then inquire of them, [O Muhammad], "Are they a stronger [or more difficult] creation or those [others] We have created?" Indeed, We created men from sticky clay.
Tafseer Commentary

4040 Their, "they" are the doubters, the evil ones, the deniers of Allah's grace and mercy, who laugh at Revelation and disbelieve in a Hereafter. Are they more important or more difficult to create than the wonderful variety of beings in Allah's spacious Creation? Do they forget their own lowly state, as having been created from muddy clay?

4041 Cf. 6:2; 7:12 ; 32:7; etc.


37:12
[ Original ]
بَلْ عَجِبْتَ وَيَسْخَرُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Truly dost thou marvel, while they ridicule,
[ Saheeh International ]
But you wonder, while they mock,
Tafseer Commentary

4042 It is indeed strange that unregenerate man should forget, on the one hand, his lowly origin, and on the other hand, his high Destiny, as conferred upon him by the grace and mercy of Allah. The indictment of him here comprises four counts: (1) they ridicule the teaching of Truth; (2) instead of profiting by admonition, they pay no heed; (3) when Allah's Signs are brought home to them, they ridicule them as much as they ridiculed the teaching of Truth: and (4) when they have to acknowledge incontestable facts, they give them false names like "sorcery", which imply fraud or something which has no relation to their life, although the facts touch the inner springs of their life intimately (Cf. 46:7).


37:13
[ Original ]
وَإِذَا ذُكِّرُوا لَا يَذْكُرُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And, when they are admonished, pay no heed,-
[ Saheeh International ]
And when they are reminded, they remember not.

37:14
[ Original ]
وَإِذَا رَأَوْا آيَةً يَسْتَسْخِرُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And, when they see a Sign, turn it to mockery,
[ Saheeh International ]
And when they see a sign, they ridicule

37:15
[ Original ]
وَقَالُوا إِنْ هَٰذَا إِلَّا سِحْرٌ مُبِينٌ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And say, "This is nothing but evident sorcery!
[ Saheeh International ]
And say, "This is not but obvious magic.

37:16
[ Original ]
أَإِذَا مِتْنَا وَكُنَّا تُرَابًا وَعِظَامًا أَإِنَّا لَمَبْعُوثُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
"What! when we die, and become dust and bones, shall we (then) be raised up (again)
[ Saheeh International ]
When we have died and become dust and bones, are we indeed to be resurrected?

37:17
[ Original ]
أَوَآبَاؤُنَا الْأَوَّلُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
"And also our fathers of old?"
[ Saheeh International ]
And our forefathers [as well]?"
Tafseer Commentary

4043 Although the Hereafter, and the spiritual life of which it is a corollary, are the most solid facts in our intelligent existence, materialists deny them. They cannot believe that they could have any existence beyond the grave-still less their ancestors who died ages and ages ago: how could they ever come to life again?


37:18
[ Original ]
قُلْ نَعَمْ وَأَنْتُمْ دَاخِرُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Say thou: "Yea, and ye shall then be humiliated (on account of your evil)."
[ Saheeh International ]
Say, "Yes, and you will be [rendered] contemptible."
Tafseer Commentary

4044 They are assured that the future life is a solid fact, but that it will be in very different conditions from those they know now. All their present arrogance will have been humbled in the dust. There will be another plane, in which souls will have experiences quite different from those in their probationary life here. In that life the virtues they lacked will count, and the arrogance they hugged will be brought low ( Cf. 40:60).


37:19
[ Original ]
فَإِنَّمَا هِيَ زَجْرَةٌ وَاحِدَةٌ فَإِذَا هُمْ يَنْظُرُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Then it will be a single (compelling) cry; and behold, they will begin to see!
[ Saheeh International ]
It will be only one shout, and at once they will be observing.
Tafseer Commentary

4045 Cf. 36:29, 36:49, and 36:53.

4046 Their spiritual blindness will then leave them. But they will be surprised at the suddenness of their disillusion.


37:20
[ Original ]
وَقَالُوا يَا وَيْلَنَا هَٰذَا يَوْمُ الدِّينِ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
They will say, "Ah! Woe to us! This is the Day of Judgment!"
[ Saheeh International ]
They will say, "O woe to us! This is the Day of Recompense."

37:21
[ Original ]
هَٰذَا يَوْمُ الْفَصْلِ الَّذِي كُنْتُمْ بِهِ تُكَذِّبُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
(A voice will say,) "This is the Day of Sorting Out, whose truth ye (once) denied!"
[ Saheeh International ]
[They will be told], "This is the Day of Judgement which you used to deny."
Tafseer Commentary

4047 The Day of Judgement is the day of sorting out. Cf. 36:59. Good and evil will finally be separated, unlike the apparently inexplicable conditions in the present probationary life, when they seem to be mixed together (see also n. 4718).


37:22
[ Original ]
احْشُرُوا الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا وَأَزْوَاجَهُمْ وَمَا كَانُوا يَعْبُدُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
"Bring ye up", it shall be said, "The wrong-doers and their wives, and the things they worshipped-
[ Saheeh International ]
[The angels will be ordered], "Gather those who committed wrong, their kinds, and what they used to worship
Tafseer Commentary

4048 That is, if their wives were also wrongdoers. They are separately mentioned, because the Arabic phrase for "wrongdoers" is of the masculine gender. All the associates in wrongdoing will be marshalled together. There will be personal responsibility: neither husband nor wife can lay the blame on the other.


37:23
[ Original ]
مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ فَاهْدُوهُمْ إِلَىٰ صِرَاطِ الْجَحِيمِ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
"Besides Allah, and lead them to the Way to the (Fierce) Fire!
[ Saheeh International ]
Other than Allah, and guide them to the path of Hellfire

37:24
[ Original ]
وَقِفُوهُمْ ۖ إِنَّهُمْ مَسْئُولُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
"But stop them, for they must be asked:
[ Saheeh International ]
And stop them; indeed, they are to be questioned."
Tafseer Commentary

4049 The scene here is after judgement. As, in an earthly tribunal, the prisoner or his advocate is asked why sentence should not be pronounced upon him, so here those who are proved to have been guilty of wrong are allowed to consider if anything or anyone can help them. Then comes the exposure of the misleaders.


37:25
[ Original ]
مَا لَكُمْ لَا تَنَاصَرُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
" 'What is the matter with you that ye help not each other?' "
[ Saheeh International ]
[They will be asked], "What is [wrong] with you? Why do you not help each other?"
Tafseer Commentary

4050 Obviously no one can stand and intercede, for it is a question of personal responsibility for each soul. No one can help another.


37:26
[ Original ]
بَلْ هُمُ الْيَوْمَ مُسْتَسْلِمُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Nay, but that day they shall submit (to Judgment);
[ Saheeh International ]
But they, that Day, are in surrender.
Tafseer Commentary

4051 All the previous arrogance of this life will be gone, but they will face each other, and those who were given a false lead, as in the story of Pharaoh (Cf. 20:79), will question their misleaders as in the following verses.


37:27
[ Original ]
وَأَقْبَلَ بَعْضُهُمْ عَلَىٰ بَعْضٍ يَتَسَاءَلُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And they will turn to one another, and question one another.
[ Saheeh International ]
And they will approach one another blaming each other.

37:28
[ Original ]
قَالُوا إِنَّكُمْ كُنْتُمْ تَأْتُونَنَا عَنِ الْيَمِينِ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
They will say: "It was ye who used to come to us from the right hand (of power and authority)!"
[ Saheeh International ]
They will say, "Indeed, you used to come at us from the right."
Tafseer Commentary

4052 This is the mutual recrimination of the sinners-those who sinned, against those whose instigation or evil example led them into sin. The misleaders in the life here below often used their power and influence to spread evil. The "right hand" is the hand of power and authority. Instead of using it for righteous purposes, they used it for evil,-selfishly for their own advantage, and mischievously for the degradation of others ( Cf. 37:93).


37:29
[ Original ]
قَالُوا بَلْ لَمْ تَكُونُوا مُؤْمِنِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
They will reply: "Nay, ye yourselves had no Faith!
[ Saheeh International ]
The oppressors will say, "Rather, you [yourselves] were not believers,
Tafseer Commentary

4053 But the fact that others mislead, or that evil example is before us, does not justify us in falling from right conduct. Faith should save us from the fall. But if we have ourselves no Faith-in righteousness, or a future life, or the reality of Allah's Law, how can we blame others? The misleaders can well say, 'You will be judged according to your misdeeds!" The responsibility is personal, and cannot be shifted on the other. The others may get a double punishment,-for their own evil, and for misleading their weaker brethren. But the weaker brethren cannot go free from responsibility of their own deeds; for evil means a personal rebellion against Allah, if we believe in a personal God. Evil has no authority over us, except insofar as we deliberately choose it.


37:30
[ Original ]
وَمَا كَانَ لَنَا عَلَيْكُمْ مِنْ سُلْطَانٍ ۖ بَلْ كُنْتُمْ قَوْمًا طَاغِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
"Nor had we any authority over you. Nay, it was ye who were a people in obstinate rebellion!
[ Saheeh International ]
And we had over you no authority, but you were a transgressing people.

37:31
[ Original ]
فَحَقَّ عَلَيْنَا قَوْلُ رَبِّنَا ۖ إِنَّا لَذَائِقُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
"So now has been proved true, against us, the word of our Lord that we shall indeed (have to) taste (the punishment of our sins).
[ Saheeh International ]
So the word of our Lord has come into effect upon us; indeed, we will taste [punishment].
Tafseer Commentary

4054 Allah's decree of justice requires that every soul should taste the consequences of its own sins, and that decree must be fulfilled. No excuses can serve. It is only Allah's mercy that can save.


37:32
[ Original ]
فَأَغْوَيْنَاكُمْ إِنَّا كُنَّا غَاوِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
"We led you astray: for truly we were ourselves astray."
[ Saheeh International ]
And we led you to deviation; indeed, we were deviators."
Tafseer Commentary

4055 Further, the misleaders can well urge against those who reproach them for misleading them: "How could you expect anything better from us? You were warned by Allah's Message that we were astray."


37:33
[ Original ]
فَإِنَّهُمْ يَوْمَئِذٍ فِي الْعَذَابِ مُشْتَرِكُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Truly, that Day, they will (all) share in the Penalty.
[ Saheeh International ]
So indeed they, that Day, will be sharing in the punishment.

37:34
[ Original ]
إِنَّا كَذَٰلِكَ نَفْعَلُ بِالْمُجْرِمِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Verily that is how We shall deal with Sinners.
[ Saheeh International ]
Indeed, that is how We deal with the criminals.

37:35
[ Original ]
إِنَّهُمْ كَانُوا إِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمْ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ يَسْتَكْبِرُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
For they, when they were told that there is no god except Allah, would puff themselves up with Pride,
[ Saheeh International ]
Indeed they, when it was said to them, "There is no deity but Allah," were arrogant
Tafseer Commentary

4056 Selfish arrogance was the seed of sin and rebellion: 2:34 (of Satan): 28:39 (of Pharaoh); etc. It is that kind of arrogance which prevents man from mending his life and conduct. When he speaks of ancestral ways, or public opinion, or national honour, he is usually thinking of himself or of a small clique which thrives on injustice. The recognition of Allah, the one true God, as the only standard of life and conduct, the Eternal Reality, cuts out Self, and is therefore disagreeable to Sin. If false gods are imagined, who themselves would have weaknesses that fit in with sin, they give countenance to evils, and it becomes difficult to give them up, unless Allah's grace comes to our assistance. (R).


37:36
[ Original ]
وَيَقُولُونَ أَئِنَّا لَتَارِكُو آلِهَتِنَا لِشَاعِرٍ مَجْنُونٍ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And say: "What! shall we give up our gods for the sake of a Poet possessed?"
[ Saheeh International ]
And were saying, "Are we to leave our gods for a mad poet?"
Tafseer Commentary

4057 Possessed of an evil spirit, or mad. Such was the charge which the Unbelievers sometimes levelled at the Prophet in the early stages of his preaching.


37:37
[ Original ]
بَلْ جَاءَ بِالْحَقِّ وَصَدَّقَ الْمُرْسَلِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Nay! he has come with the (very) Truth, and he confirms (the Message of) the messengers (before him).
[ Saheeh International ]
Rather, the Prophet has come with the truth and confirmed the [previous] messengers.
Tafseer Commentary

4058 The message of Islam, so far from being "mad" or in any way peculiar, is eminently conformable to reason and the true facts of nature as created by Allah. It is the Truth in the purest sense of the term, and confirms the Message of all true Messengers that ever lived.


37:38
[ Original ]
إِنَّكُمْ لَذَائِقُو الْعَذَابِ الْأَلِيمِ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Ye shall indeed taste of the Grievous Penalty;-
[ Saheeh International ]
Indeed, you [disbelievers] will be tasters of the painful punishment,

37:39
[ Original ]
وَمَا تُجْزَوْنَ إِلَّا مَا كُنْتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
But it will be no more than the retribution of (the Evil) that ye have wrought;-
[ Saheeh International ]
And you will not be recompensed except for what you used to do -
Tafseer Commentary

4059 Justice demands that those who sow evil should reap the fruit, but the punishment is due to their own conduct and not to anything external to themselves.


37:40
[ Original ]
إِلَّا عِبَادَ اللَّهِ الْمُخْلَصِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
But the sincere (and devoted) Servants of Allah,-
[ Saheeh International ]
But not the chosen servants of Allah.

37:41
[ Original ]
أُولَٰئِكَ لَهُمْ رِزْقٌ مَعْلُومٌ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
For them is a Sustenance determined,
[ Saheeh International ]
Those will have a provision determined -
Tafseer Commentary

4060 Cf. 7:50 . Sustenance, metaphorical sense, correlated with the Fruits mentioned below: see next verse.

4061 Determined: Ma'lum: the reward of the Blessed will not be a chance or a fleeting thing. It will follow a firm Decree of Allah, on principles that can be known and understood.


37:42
[ Original ]
فَوَاكِهُ ۖ وَهُمْ مُكْرَمُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Fruits (Delights); and they (shall enjoy) honour and dignity,
[ Saheeh International ]
Fruits; and they will be honored
Tafseer Commentary

4062 Fruits: Cf. 36:57, and n. 4003. The spiritual Delights are figured forth from parallel experiences in our present life, and follow an ascending order: Food and Fruits; Gardens of Bliss, (with all their charm, design, greenery, birds' songs, fountains, etc.); the Home of Happiness and Dignity, with congenial company seated on Thrones; Delicious Drinks from crystal Springs, for social pleasure; and the society of Companions of the opposite sex, with beauty and charm but none of the grossness too often incidental to such companionship in this life.


37:43
[ Original ]
فِي جَنَّاتِ النَّعِيمِ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
In Gardens of Felicity,
[ Saheeh International ]
In gardens of pleasure

37:44
[ Original ]
عَلَىٰ سُرُرٍ مُتَقَابِلِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Facing each other on Thrones (of Dignity):
[ Saheeh International ]
On thrones facing one another.

37:45
[ Original ]
يُطَافُ عَلَيْهِمْ بِكَأْسٍ مِنْ مَعِينٍ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Round will be passed to them a Cup from a clearflowing fountain,
[ Saheeh International ]
There will be circulated among them a cup [of wine] from a flowing spring,

37:46
[ Original ]
بَيْضَاءَ لَذَّةٍ لِلشَّارِبِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Crystal-white, of a taste delicious to those who drink (thereof),
[ Saheeh International ]
White and delicious to the drinkers;

37:47
[ Original ]
لَا فِيهَا غَوْلٌ وَلَا هُمْ عَنْهَا يُنْزَفُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Free from headiness; nor will they suffer intoxication therefrom.
[ Saheeh International ]
No bad effect is there in it, nor from it will they be intoxicated.
Tafseer Commentary

4063 The passing round of the social cup, as in the case of odier pleasures, is without any of the drawbacks and evil accompaniments of the pleasures of this world, which are taken as types. In drink there is no intoxication: in fruit there is no satiety. Cf. Dante: "The bread of Angels upon which One liveth here and grows not sated Sby it." (Paradiso, Canto II., Longfellow's translation.)


37:48
[ Original ]
وَعِنْدَهُمْ قَاصِرَاتُ الطَّرْفِ عِينٌ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And besides them will be chaste women, restraining their glances, with big eyes (of wonder and beauty).
[ Saheeh International ]
And with them will be women limiting [their] glances, with large, [beautiful] eyes,
Tafseer Commentary

4064 In the emblem used here, again, the pure type of chaste womanhood is figured. They are chaste, not bold with their glances: but their eyes are big with wonder and beauty, prefiguring grace, innocence, and a refined capacity of appreciation and admiration.


37:49
[ Original ]
كَأَنَّهُنَّ بَيْضٌ مَكْنُونٌ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
As if they were (delicate) eggs closely guarded.
[ Saheeh International ]
As if they were [delicate] eggs, well-protected.
Tafseer Commentary

4065 This is usually understood to refer to the delicate complexion of a beautiful woman, which is compared to the transparent shell of eggs in the nest, closely guarded by the mother-bird; the shell is warm and free from stain. In 55:58 the phrase used is "like rubies and coral", referring to the red or pink of a beautiful complexion.


37:50
[ Original ]
فَأَقْبَلَ بَعْضُهُمْ عَلَىٰ بَعْضٍ يَتَسَاءَلُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Then they will turn to one another and question one another.
[ Saheeh International ]
And they will approach one another, inquiring of each other.
Tafseer Commentary

4066 Cf. above, 37:27, where the same phrase is used in the reverse conditions. In each case there is a going back to the earlier memories or experiences of this life.


37:51
[ Original ]
قَالَ قَائِلٌ مِنْهُمْ إِنِّي كَانَ لِي قَرِينٌ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
One of them will start the talk and say: "I had an intimate companion (on the earth),
[ Saheeh International ]
A speaker among them will say, "Indeed, I had a companion [on earth]
Tafseer Commentary

4067 This companion was a sceptic, who laughed at Religion and a Hereafter. How the tables are now turned! The devout man backed up his Faith with a good life and is now in Bliss: the other was a cynic and made a mess of his life, and is now burning in the Fire.(R)


37:52
[ Original ]
يَقُولُ أَإِنَّكَ لَمِنَ الْمُصَدِّقِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
"Who used to say, 'what! art thou amongst those who bear witness to the Truth (of the Message)?
[ Saheeh International ]
Who would say, 'Are you indeed of those who believe

37:53
[ Original ]
أَإِذَا مِتْنَا وَكُنَّا تُرَابًا وَعِظَامًا أَإِنَّا لَمَدِينُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
" 'When we die and become dust and bones, shall we indeed receive rewards and punishments?' "
[ Saheeh International ]
That when we have died and become dust and bones, we will indeed be recompensed?'"

37:54
[ Original ]
قَالَ هَلْ أَنْتُمْ مُطَّلِعُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
(A voice) said: "Would ye like to look down?"
[ Saheeh International ]
He will say, "Would you [care to] look?"

37:55
[ Original ]
فَاطَّلَعَ فَرَآهُ فِي سَوَاءِ الْجَحِيمِ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
He looked down and saw him in the midst of the Fire.
[ Saheeh International ]
And he will look and see him in the midst of the Hellfire.
Tafseer Commentary

4068 He is allowed a peep into the state which he so narrowly escaped by the grace of Allah.


37:56
[ Original ]
قَالَ تَاللَّهِ إِنْ كِدْتَ لَتُرْدِينِ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
He said: "By Allah. thou wast little short of bringing me to perdition!
[ Saheeh International ]
He will say, "By Allah, you almost ruined me.

37:57
[ Original ]
وَلَوْلَا نِعْمَةُ رَبِّي لَكُنْتُ مِنَ الْمُحْضَرِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
"Had it not been for the Grace of my Lord, I should certainly have been among those brought (there)!
[ Saheeh International ]
If not for the favor of my Lord, I would have been of those brought in [to Hell].
Tafseer Commentary

4069 And he gratefully acknowledges his shortcomings: "I should have been a sinner just like this, but for the grace of Allah!" He sees that if he had erred it would have been no excuse to plead the other man's example. He had Faith and was saved, to walk in the path of righteousness.


37:58
[ Original ]
أَفَمَا نَحْنُ بِمَيِّتِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
"Is it (the case) that we shall not die,
[ Saheeh International ]
Then, are we not to die

37:59
[ Original ]
إِلَّا مَوْتَتَنَا الْأُولَىٰ وَمَا نَحْنُ بِمُعَذَّبِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
"Except our first death, and that we shall not be punished?"
[ Saheeh International ]
Except for our first death, and we will not be punished?"
Tafseer Commentary

4070 After he realises the great danger from which he narrowly escaped, his joy is so great that he can hardly believe it! Is the danger altogether past now? Are the portals of death closed forever? Is he safe now from the temptations which will bring him to ruin and punishment? (Cf, 44:56)


37:60
[ Original ]
إِنَّ هَٰذَا لَهُوَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Verily this is the supreme achievement!
[ Saheeh International ]
Indeed, this is the great attainment.
Tafseer Commentary

4071 The answer is: Yes. "Beyond the flight of Time, Beyond the realm of Death. There surely is some blessed clime, Where Life is not a breath!" In the words of Longfellow this was an aspiration on this earth. In the Hereafter it is a realisation! Some interpret verses 60-62 as a continuation of the speech of the man in heaven. The meaning would in that case be the same.


37:61
[ Original ]
لِمِثْلِ هَٰذَا فَلْيَعْمَلِ الْعَامِلُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
For the like of this let all strive, who wish to strive.
[ Saheeh International ]
For the like of this let the workers [on earth] work.

37:62
[ Original ]
أَذَٰلِكَ خَيْرٌ نُزُلًا أَمْ شَجَرَةُ الزَّقُّومِ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Is that the better entertainment or the Tree of Zaqqum?
[ Saheeh International ]
Is Paradise a better accommodation or the tree of zaqqum?
Tafseer Commentary

4072 Cf. 17:60, n. 2250. This bitter tree of Hell is a symbol of the contrast with the beautiful Garden of heaven with its delicious fruits.


37:63
[ Original ]
إِنَّا جَعَلْنَاهَا فِتْنَةً لِلظَّالِمِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
For We have truly made it (as) a trial for the wrong-doers.
[ Saheeh International ]
Indeed, We have made it a torment for the wrongdoers.
Tafseer Commentary

4073 Cf. 44:43-46.This dreadful bitter Tree of Hell is truly a trial to the wrongdoers. (1) It grows at the bottom of Hell; (2) even its fruit-stalks, which should have been tender, are like the heads of devils; (3) its produce is eaten voraciously; (4) on top of it is a boiling mixture to cut up their entrails (see next note); and (5) every time they complete this round of orgies they return to the same game. A truly lurid picture, but more lurid in reality are the stages in spiritual Evil. (1) It takes its rise in the lowest depths of corrupted human nature; (2) its tenderest affections are degraded to envy and hate: (3) the appetite for Evil grows with what it feeds on; (4) its "cures" serve but to aggravate the disease; and (5) the chain of evil is unending; one round is followed by another in interminable succession.


37:64
[ Original ]
إِنَّهَا شَجَرَةٌ تَخْرُجُ فِي أَصْلِ الْجَحِيمِ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
For it is a tree that springs out of the bottom of Hell- Fire:
[ Saheeh International ]
Indeed, it is a tree issuing from the bottom of the Hellfire,

37:65
[ Original ]
طَلْعُهَا كَأَنَّهُ رُءُوسُ الشَّيَاطِينِ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
The shoots of its fruit-stalks are like the heads of devils:
[ Saheeh International ]
Its emerging fruit as if it was heads of the devils.

37:66
[ Original ]
فَإِنَّهُمْ لَآكِلُونَ مِنْهَا فَمَالِئُونَ مِنْهَا الْبُطُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Truly they will eat thereof and fill their bellies therewith.
[ Saheeh International ]
And indeed, they will eat from it and fill with it their bellies.
Tafseer Commentary

4074 The parable of fruits and drinks in the contrasted fortunes of the Good and the Evil is further


37:67
[ Original ]
ثُمَّ إِنَّ لَهُمْ عَلَيْهَا لَشَوْبًا مِنْ حَمِيمٍ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Then on top of that they will be given a mixture made of boiling water.
[ Saheeh International ]
Then indeed, they will have after it a mixture of scalding water.

37:68
[ Original ]
ثُمَّ إِنَّ مَرْجِعَهُمْ لَإِلَى الْجَحِيمِ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Then shall their return be to the (Blazing) Fire.
[ Saheeh International ]
Then indeed, their return will be to the Hellfire.
Tafseer Commentary

4075 When they eat of the zaqqum in the lowest depths of hell, they are apparently brought up to drink of the mixture as a further punishment, after which they go back to repeat the round.


37:69
[ Original ]
إِنَّهُمْ أَلْفَوْا آبَاءَهُمْ ضَالِّينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Truly they found their fathers on the wrong Path;
[ Saheeh International ]
Indeed they found their fathers astray.

37:70
[ Original ]
فَهُمْ عَلَىٰ آثَارِهِمْ يُهْرَعُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
So they (too) were rushed down on their footsteps!
[ Saheeh International ]
So they hastened [to follow] in their footsteps.
Tafseer Commentary

4076 A grim reproach. You found your fathers doing wrong; and you must rush headlong in their footsteps to perdition!'


37:71
[ Original ]
وَلَقَدْ ضَلَّ قَبْلَهُمْ أَكْثَرُ الْأَوَّلِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And truly before them, many of the ancients went astray;-
[ Saheeh International ]
And there had already strayed before them most of the former peoples,

37:72
[ Original ]
وَلَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا فِيهِمْ مُنْذِرِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
But We sent aforetime, among them, (messengers) to admonish them;-
[ Saheeh International ]
And We had already sent among them warners.
Tafseer Commentary

4077 It is human to err. The error is forgiven if there is repentance and amendment. The point is that Allah in His mercy at all times in history sent messengers and teachers to give His Message, and men deliberately rejected that Message.


37:73
[ Original ]
فَانْظُرْ كَيْفَ كَانَ عَاقِبَةُ الْمُنْذَرِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Then see what was the end of those who were admonished (but heeded not),-
[ Saheeh International ]
Then look how was the end of those who were warned -
Tafseer Commentary

4078 It is on the reception or rejection of Allah's teachings and guidance that judgement will come. In this world itself, see what is the teaching of history. Unrighteousness and wrongdoing never prosper in the long run.


37:74
[ Original ]
إِلَّا عِبَادَ اللَّهِ الْمُخْلَصِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Except the sincere (and devoted) Servants of Allah.
[ Saheeh International ]
But not the chosen servants of Allah.
Tafseer Commentary

4079 But there is always a band of sincere and devoted men who serve Allah, and the highest spiritual life is open to them (Cf. 37:160). Note that this verse occurs at 37:40 above, where the argument of the difference between the fates of the righteous and the unrighteous was begun. Here it is rounded off with the same phrase, and now we proceed to take illustrations from the early Prophets.


37:75
[ Original ]
وَلَقَدْ نَادَانَا نُوحٌ فَلَنِعْمَ الْمُجِيبُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
(In the days of old), Noah cried to Us, and We are the best to hear prayer.
[ Saheeh International ]
And Noah had certainly called Us, and [We are] the best of responders.
Tafseer Commentary

4080 Cf. 21:76-77. The story of Noah occurs in many places; here the point is that when men gird themselves against evil, Allah protects them, and Evil cannot triumph against Allah's Plan.


37:76
[ Original ]
وَنَجَّيْنَاهُ وَأَهْلَهُ مِنَ الْكَرْبِ الْعَظِيمِ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And We delivered him and his people from the Great Calamity,
[ Saheeh International ]
And We saved him and his family from the great affliction.
Tafseer Commentary

4081 The Deluge, the Flood of Noah. The main story will be found in 11:25-48.


37:77
[ Original ]
وَجَعَلْنَا ذُرِّيَّتَهُ هُمُ الْبَاقِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And made his progeny to endure (on this earth);
[ Saheeh International ]
And We made his descendants those remaining [on the earth]
Tafseer Commentary

4082 Noah's posterity survived the Rood in the Ark , while the rest perished.


37:78
[ Original ]
وَتَرَكْنَا عَلَيْهِ فِي الْآخِرِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And We left (this blessing) for him among generations to come in later times:
[ Saheeh International ]
And left for him [favorable mention] among later generations:
Tafseer Commentary

4083 His name is remembered forever, commencing a new era in religious history. Note that the words in verses 78-81, with slight modifications, form a sort of refrain to the following paragraphs about Abraham, Moses, and Elias, but not about Lot and Jonah. Lot was a nephew of Abraham, and may be supposed to belong to the story of Abraham. Jonah's career nearly ended in a tragedy for himself, and his people got a further lease of power "for a time" (37:148). And both Lot and Jonah belong to a limited local tradition.


37:79
[ Original ]
سَلَامٌ عَلَىٰ نُوحٍ فِي الْعَالَمِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
"Peace and salutation to Noah among the nations!"
[ Saheeh International ]
"Peace upon Noah among the worlds."
Tafseer Commentary

4084 The story of the Flood is found in some form or other among all nations, and not only among those who follow the Mosaic tradition. In Greek tradition the hero of the flood is Deukalion, with his wife Pyrrha; in Hindu tradition (Shatapatha Brahmana and Mahabharata) it is the sage Manuand the Fish. The Chinese tradition of a great Flood is recorded in Shu-King. Among American Indians the tradition was common to many tribes.


37:80
[ Original ]
إِنَّا كَذَٰلِكَ نَجْزِي الْمُحْسِنِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Thus indeed do we reward those who do right.
[ Saheeh International ]
Indeed, We thus reward the doers of good.

37:81
[ Original ]
إِنَّهُ مِنْ عِبَادِنَا الْمُؤْمِنِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
For he was one of our believing Servants.
[ Saheeh International ]
Indeed, he was of Our believing servants.

37:82
[ Original ]
ثُمَّ أَغْرَقْنَا الْآخَرِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Then the rest we overwhelmed in the Flood.
[ Saheeh International ]
Then We drowned the disbelievers.

37:83
[ Original ]
وَإِنَّ مِنْ شِيعَتِهِ لَإِبْرَاهِيمَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Verily among those who followed his Way was Abraham.
[ Saheeh International ]
And indeed, among his kind was Abraham,
Tafseer Commentary

4085 The main story will be found in 21:51-73; but the episode about his readiness and that of his son to submit to the most extreme form of self-sacrifice under trial (in verses 102-107 below) is told here for the first time, as this Surah deals with the theme, "Not my will, but Thine be done!" In "followed his way", the pronoun "his" refers to Noah, "he", of verse 81 above.


37:84
[ Original ]
إِذْ جَاءَ رَبَّهُ بِقَلْبٍ سَلِيمٍ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Behold! he approached his Lord with a sound heart.
[ Saheeh International ]
When he came to his Lord with a sound heart
Tafseer Commentary

4086 "A sound heart"; qalb salim: a heart that is pure, and unaffected by the diseases that afflict others, As the heart in Arabic is taken to be not only the seat of feelings and affections, but also of intelligence and resulting action, it implies the whole character. Cf. Abraham's title of Hanif (the True); 2:135 and n. 134. Cf. also 26:89: "only he will prosper who brings to Allah a sound heart."


37:85
[ Original ]
إِذْ قَالَ لِأَبِيهِ وَقَوْمِهِ مَاذَا تَعْبُدُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Behold! he said to his father and to his people, "What is that which ye worship?
[ Saheeh International ]
[And] when he said to his father and his people, "What do you worship?

37:86
[ Original ]
أَئِفْكًا آلِهَةً دُونَ اللَّهِ تُرِيدُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
"Is it a falsehood- gods other than Allah. that ye desire?
[ Saheeh International ]
Is it falsehood [as] gods other than Allah you desire?
Tafseer Commentary

4087 False worship-worship of idols or stars or symbols, or Mammon or Self-is due either to false and degrading conceptions of Allah, or to a sort of makebelieve, where practice is inconsistent with knowledge or ignores the inner promptings of Conscience. Abraham's challenge to his people is: 'Are you fools or hypocrites?'


37:87
[ Original ]
فَمَا ظَنُّكُمْ بِرَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
"Then what is your idea about the Lord of the Worlds?"
[ Saheeh International ]
Then what is your thought about the Lord of the worlds?"
Tafseer Commentary

4088 'Do you not realise that the real Creator is One-above all the forms and superstitions that you associate with Him?'


37:88
[ Original ]
فَنَظَرَ نَظْرَةً فِي النُّجُومِ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Then did he cast a glance at the Stars.
[ Saheeh International ]
And he cast a look at the stars

37:89
[ Original ]
فَقَالَ إِنِّي سَقِيمٌ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And he said, "I am indeed sick (at heart)!"
[ Saheeh International ]
And said, "Indeed, I am [about to be] ill."
Tafseer Commentary

4089 The grief was really preying on his mind and soul, that he should be associated with such falsehoods. His father himself was among the chief supporters of such falsehoods, and his people were given up wholly to them. He could not possibly share in their mummeries, and they left him in disgust. Then he made his practical protest in the manner narrated in 21:56 -64.


37:90
[ Original ]
فَتَوَلَّوْا عَنْهُ مُدْبِرِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
So they turned away from him, and departed.
[ Saheeh International ]
So they turned away from him, departing.

37:91
[ Original ]
فَرَاغَ إِلَىٰ آلِهَتِهِمْ فَقَالَ أَلَا تَأْكُلُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Then did he turn to their gods and said, "will ye not eat (of the offerings before you)?...
[ Saheeh International ]
Then he turned to their gods and said, "Do you not eat?

37:92
[ Original ]
مَا لَكُمْ لَا تَنْطِقُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
"What is the matter with you that ye speak not (intelligently)?"
[ Saheeh International ]
What is [wrong] with you that you do not speak?"

37:93
[ Original ]
فَرَاغَ عَلَيْهِمْ ضَرْبًا بِالْيَمِينِ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Then did he turn upon them, striking (them) with the right hand.
[ Saheeh International ]
And he turned upon them a blow with [his] right hand.
Tafseer Commentary

4090 See the reference in the last note.

4091 With the right hand: as the right hand is the hand of power, the phrase means that he struck them with might and main and broke them (Cf. 37:28).


37:94
[ Original ]
فَأَقْبَلُوا إِلَيْهِ يَزِفُّونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Then came (the worshippers) with hurried steps, and faced (him).
[ Saheeh International ]
Then the people came toward him, hastening.

37:95
[ Original ]
قَالَ أَتَعْبُدُونَ مَا تَنْحِتُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
He said: "Worship ye that which ye have (yourselves) carved?
[ Saheeh International ]
He said, "Do you worship that which you [yourselves] carve,
Tafseer Commentary

4092 His action was a challenge, and he drives home the challenge now with argument. 'Do you worship your own handiwork? Surely worship is due to Him Who made you and made possible your handiwork!'


37:96
[ Original ]
وَاللَّهُ خَلَقَكُمْ وَمَا تَعْمَلُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
"But Allah has created you and your handwork!"
[ Saheeh International ]
While Allah created you and that which you do?"

37:97
[ Original ]
قَالُوا ابْنُوا لَهُ بُنْيَانًا فَأَلْقُوهُ فِي الْجَحِيمِ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
They said, "Build him a furnace, and throw him into the blazing fire!"
[ Saheeh International ]
They said, "Construct for him a furnace and throw him into the burning fire."
Tafseer Commentary

4093 The argument of Abraham was so sound that it could not be met by argument. In such cases Evil resorts to violence, or secret plotting. Here there was both violence and secret plotting. The violence consisted in throwing him into a blazing Furnace. But by the mercy of Allah the fire did not harm him (21:69), and so they resorted to plotting. But the plotting, as the next verse (37:98) shows, was a boomerang that recoiled on their own heads.


37:98
[ Original ]
فَأَرَادُوا بِهِ كَيْدًا فَجَعَلْنَاهُمُ الْأَسْفَلِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
(This failing), they then sought a stratagem against him, but We made them the ones most humiliated!
[ Saheeh International ]
And they intended for him a plan, but We made them the most debased.
Tafseer Commentary

4094 Cf. 21:71. Their plot against the righteous Abraham failed. Abraham migrated from the country (Chaldea, Babylon , and Assyria) and prospered in Syria and Palestine . It was his persecutors that suffered humiliation.


37:99
[ Original ]
وَقَالَ إِنِّي ذَاهِبٌ إِلَىٰ رَبِّي سَيَهْدِينِ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
He said: "I will go to my Lord! He will surely guide me!
[ Saheeh International ]
And [then] he said, "Indeed, I will go to [where I am ordered by] my Lord; He will guide me.
Tafseer Commentary

4095 This was the Hijrah of Abraham. He left his people and his land, because the Truth was dearer to him than the ancestral falsehoods of his people. He trusted himself to Allah, and under Allah's guidance he laid the foundations of great peoples. See n. 2725 to 21:69.


37:100
[ Original ]
رَبِّ هَبْ لِي مِنَ الصَّالِحِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
"O my Lord! Grant me a righteous (son)!"
[ Saheeh International ]
My Lord, grant me [a child] from among the righteous."

37:101
[ Original ]
فَبَشَّرْنَاهُ بِغُلَامٍ حَلِيمٍ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
So We gave him the good news of a boy ready to suffer and forbear.
[ Saheeh International ]
So We gave him good tidings of a forbearing boy.
Tafseer Commentary

4096 This was in the fertile land of Syria and Palestine . The boy thus born was, according to Muslim tradition, the first-born son of Abraham, viz., IsmaTl. The name itself is from the root Sami'a, to hear, because Allah had heard Abraham's prayer (verse 100). Abraham's age when IsmaTl was born was 86 (Gen. 16:16). (R).

4097 The boy's character was to be Halim, which I have translated "ready to suffer and forbear". This title is also applied to Abraham (in 9:114 and 11:75). It refers to the patient way in which both father and son cheerfully offered to suffer any self-sacrifice in order to obey the Command of Allah. See next verse.


37:102
[ Original ]
فَلَمَّا بَلَغَ مَعَهُ السَّعْيَ قَالَ يَا بُنَيَّ إِنِّي أَرَىٰ فِي الْمَنَامِ أَنِّي أَذْبَحُكَ فَانْظُرْ مَاذَا تَرَىٰ ۚ قَالَ يَا أَبَتِ افْعَلْ مَا تُؤْمَرُ ۖ سَتَجِدُنِي إِنْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ مِنَ الصَّابِرِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Then, when (the son) reached (the age of) (serious) work with him, he said: "O my son! I see in vision that I offer thee in sacrifice: Now see what is thy view!" (The son) said: "O my father! Do as thou art commanded: thou will find me, if Allah so wills one practising Patience and Constancy!"
[ Saheeh International ]
And when he reached with him [the age of] exertion, he said, "O my son, indeed I have seen in a dream that I [must] sacrifice you, so see what you think." He said, "O my father, do as you are commanded. You will find me, if Allah wills, of the steadfast."
Tafseer Commentary

4098 Where did this vision occur? The Muslim view is that it was in or near Makkah. Some would identify it with the valley of Mina, six miles north of Makkah, where a commemoration sacrifice is annually celebrated as a rite of the Hajj on the tenth of Dhu alHijjah, the 'Id of Sacrifice, in memory of this Sacrifice of Abraham and IsmaTl (see n. 217 to 2:197). Others say that the original place of sacrifice was near the hill of Marwah (the companion hill to Safa, 2:158), which is associated with the infancy of Ismail.

4099 At what stage in Abraham's history did this occur? See n. 2725 to 21:69. It was obviously after his arrival in the land of Cannan and after IsmaTl had grown up to years of discretion. Was it before or after the building of the Kab'ah (2:127)? There are no data on which this question can be answered. But we may suppose it was before that event, and that event may itself have been commemorative.


37:103
[ Original ]
فَلَمَّا أَسْلَمَا وَتَلَّهُ لِلْجَبِينِ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
So when they had both submitted their wills (to Allah., and he had laid him prostrate on his forehead (for sacrifice),
[ Saheeh International ]
And when they had both submitted and he put him down upon his forehead,
Tafseer Commentary

4100 Note that the sacrifice was demanded of both Abraham and IsmaTl. It was a trial of the will of the father and the son. By way of trial the father had the command conveyed to him in a vision. He consulted the son. The son readily consented, and offered to stand true to his promise if his self-sacrifice was really required. The whole thing is symbolical. Allah does not require the flesh and blood of animals ( 22:37 ), much less of human beings. But he does require the giving of our whole being to Allah, the symbol of which is that we should give up something very dear to us, if Duty requires that sacrifice, (R).

4101 Our version may be compared with the Jewish-Christian version of the present Old Testament. The Jewish tradition, in order to glorify the younger branch of the family, descended from Isaac, ancestor of the Jews, as against the elder branch, descended from Isma'il, ancestor of the Arabs, refers this sacrifice to Isaac (Gen. 22:1-18). Now Isaac was born when Abraham was 100 years old (Gen. 21:5), while Isma'il was born to Abraham when Abraham was 86 years old (Gen. 16:16). Isma'il was therefore 14 years older than Isaac. During his first 14 years Isma'il was the only son of Abraham; at no time was Isaac the only son of Abraham. Yet, in speaking of the sacrifice, the Old Testament says (Gen. 22:2): 'And He said, Take now thy son, thine only son Issac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah : and offer him there for a burnt offering..." This slip shows at any rate which was the older version, and how it was overlaid, like the present Jewish records, in the interests of a tribal religion. The " land of Moriah " is not clear: it was three days journey from Abraham's place (Gen. 22:4). There is less warrant for identifying it with the hill of Moriah on which Jerusalem was afterwards built than with the hill of Marwah which is identified with the Arab tradition about Isma'il.


37:104
[ Original ]
وَنَادَيْنَاهُ أَنْ يَا إِبْرَاهِيمُ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
We called out to him, "O Abraham!
[ Saheeh International ]
We called to him, "O Abraham,
Tafseer Commentary

4102 In the Biblical version Isaac's consent is not taken: in fact Isaac asks, 'where is the lamb for sacrifice?' and is told that 'God would provide it'. It is a complete human sacrifice like those to Moloch. In our version it is as much a sacrifice by the will of Isma'il as by that of Abraham. And in any case it is symbolic: "this was obviously a trial"; "thou hast already fulfilled thy vision": etc.


37:105
[ Original ]
قَدْ صَدَّقْتَ الرُّؤْيَا ۚ إِنَّا كَذَٰلِكَ نَجْزِي الْمُحْسِنِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
"Thou hast already fulfilled the vision!" - thus indeed do We reward those who do right.
[ Saheeh International ]
You have fulfilled the vision." Indeed, We thus reward the doers of good.

37:106
[ Original ]
إِنَّ هَٰذَا لَهُوَ الْبَلَاءُ الْمُبِينُ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
For this was obviously a trial-
[ Saheeh International ]
Indeed, this was the clear trial.

37:107
[ Original ]
وَفَدَيْنَاهُ بِذِبْحٍ عَظِيمٍ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And We ransomed him with a momentous sacrifice:
[ Saheeh International ]
And We ransomed him with a great sacrifice,
Tafseer Commentary

4103 The adjective qualifying "sacrifice" here, 'azim, (great, momentous) may be understood both in a literal and a figurative sense. In a literal sense it implies that a fine sheep or ram was substituted symbolically. The figurative sense is even more important. It was indeed a great and momentous occasion, when two men, with concerted will, "ranged themselves in the ranks" of those to whom selfsacrifice in the service of Allah was the supreme thing in life. In this sense, said Jesus, "he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it", (Matt. 10:39 ). (R).


37:108
[ Original ]
وَتَرَكْنَا عَلَيْهِ فِي الْآخِرِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And We left (this blessing) for him among generations (to come) in later times:
[ Saheeh International ]
And We left for him [favorable mention] among later generations:
Tafseer Commentary

4104 Cf. above, 37:78-81 and n. 4083, also 43:28.


37:109
[ Original ]
سَلَامٌ عَلَىٰ إِبْرَاهِيمَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
"Peace and salutation to Abraham!"
[ Saheeh International ]
"Peace upon Abraham."

37:110
[ Original ]
كَذَٰلِكَ نَجْزِي الْمُحْسِنِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Thus indeed do We reward those who do right.
[ Saheeh International ]
Indeed, We thus reward the doers of good.

37:111
[ Original ]
إِنَّهُ مِنْ عِبَادِنَا الْمُؤْمِنِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
For he was one of our believing Servants.
[ Saheeh International ]
Indeed, he was of Our believing servants.

37:112
[ Original ]
وَبَشَّرْنَاهُ بِإِسْحَاقَ نَبِيًّا مِنَ الصَّالِحِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And We gave him the good news of Isaac - a prophet,- one of the Righteous.
[ Saheeh International ]
And We gave him good tidings of Isaac, a prophet from among the righteous.
Tafseer Commentary

4105 Isaac was Abraham's second son, born of Sarah, when Abraham was 100 years of age. See n. 4101. He was also blessed and became the ancestor of the Jewish people. See next note.


37:113
[ Original ]
وَبَارَكْنَا عَلَيْهِ وَعَلَىٰ إِسْحَاقَ ۚ وَمِنْ ذُرِّيَّتِهِمَا مُحْسِنٌ وَظَالِمٌ لِنَفْسِهِ مُبِينٌ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
We blessed him and Isaac: but of their progeny are (some) that do right, and (some) that obviously do wrong, to their own souls.
[ Saheeh International ]
And We blessed him and Isaac. But among their descendants is the doer of good and the clearly unjust to himself.
Tafseer Commentary

4106 So long as the Children of Israel upheld the righteous banner of Allah, they enjoyed Allah's blessing and their history is a portion of sacred history. When they fell from grace, they did not stop Allah's Plan: they injured their own souls.


37:114
[ Original ]
وَلَقَدْ مَنَنَّا عَلَىٰ مُوسَىٰ وَهَارُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Again (of old) We bestowed Our favour on Moses and Aaron,
[ Saheeh International ]
And We did certainly confer favor upon Moses and Aaron.
Tafseer Commentary

4107 The story of Moses is told in numerous passages of the Qur'an. The passages most illustrative of the present passage will be found in 28:4 (oppression of the Israelites in Egypt ) and 20:77-79 (the Israelites triumphant over their enemies when the latter were drowned in the Red Sea ).


37:115
[ Original ]
وَنَجَّيْنَاهُمَا وَقَوْمَهُمَا مِنَ الْكَرْبِ الْعَظِيمِ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And We delivered them and their people from (their) Great Calamity;
[ Saheeh International ]
And We saved them and their people from the great affliction,
Tafseer Commentary

4108 What could have been a greater calamity to them than that they should have been held in slavery by the Egyptians, that their male children should have been killed and their female children should have been saved alive for the Egyptians?


37:116
[ Original ]
وَنَصَرْنَاهُمْ فَكَانُوا هُمُ الْغَالِبِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And We helped them, so they overcame (their troubles);
[ Saheeh International ]
And We supported them so it was they who overcame.
Tafseer Commentary

4109 The Israelites were delivered by three steps mentioned in verses 114,115, and 116 respectively; but the consummation of Allah's favour on them was (verses 117-118) the Revelation given to them, which guided them on the Straight Way, so long as they preserved the Revelation intact and followed its precepts. The three steps were: (1) the divine commission to Moses and Aaron: (2) the deliverance from bondage; and (3) the triumphant crossing of the Red Sea and the destruction of Pharaoh's army.


37:117
[ Original ]
وَآتَيْنَاهُمَا الْكِتَابَ الْمُسْتَبِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And We gave them the Book which helps to make things clear;
[ Saheeh International ]
And We gave them the explicit Scripture,
Tafseer Commentary

4110 Mustabin has a slightly different force from Mubin. I have translated the former by "which helps to make things clear", and the latter by "which makes things clear"-apt descriptions as applied to the Tawrah and the Qur'an.


37:118
[ Original ]
وَهَدَيْنَاهُمَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And We guided them to the Straight Way.
[ Saheeh International ]
And We guided them on the straight path.

37:119
[ Original ]
وَتَرَكْنَا عَلَيْهِمَا فِي الْآخِرِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And We left (this blessing) for them among generations (to come) in later times:
[ Saheeh International ]
And We left for them [favorable mention] among later generations:
Tafseer Commentary

4111 See above, 37:78-81 and n. 4083.


37:120
[ Original ]
سَلَامٌ عَلَىٰ مُوسَىٰ وَهَارُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
"Peace and salutation to Moses and Aaron!"
[ Saheeh International ]
"Peace upon Moses and Aaron."

37:121
[ Original ]
إِنَّا كَذَٰلِكَ نَجْزِي الْمُحْسِنِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Thus indeed do We reward those who do right.
[ Saheeh International ]
Indeed, We thus reward the doers of good.

37:122
[ Original ]
إِنَّهُمَا مِنْ عِبَادِنَا الْمُؤْمِنِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
For they were two of our believing Servants.
[ Saheeh International ]
Indeed, they were of Our believing servants.

37:123
[ Original ]
وَإِنَّ إِلْيَاسَ لَمِنَ الْمُرْسَلِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
So also was Elias among those sent (by Us).
[ Saheeh International ]
And indeed, Elias was from among the messengers,
Tafseer Commentary

4112 See n. 905 to 6:85. Elias is the same as Elijah, whose story will be found in the Old Testament in 1 Kings 17-19 and 2 Kings 1-2. Elijah lived in the reign of Ahab (B.C. 896-874) and Ahaziah (B.C. 874-872), kings of the (northern) kingdom of Israel or Samaria . He was a prophet of the desert, like John the Baptist- unlike our Prophet, who took part in, controlled, and guided all the affairs of his people. Both Ahab and Ahaziah were prone to lapse into the worship of Ba'l, the sun-god worshipped in Syria . That worship also included the worship of nature-powers and procreative powers, as in the Hindu worship of the Lingam, and led to many abuses. King Ahab had married a princess of Sidon , Jezebel, a wicked woman who led her husband to forsake Allah and adopt Ba'1-worship. Elijah denounced all Ahab's sins as well as the sins of Ahaziah and had to flee for his life. Eventually, according to the Old Testament (2 Kings,2:11 ) he was taken up in a whirlwind to heaven in a chariot of fire after he had left his mantle with Elisha the prophet. (R).


37:124
[ Original ]
إِذْ قَالَ لِقَوْمِهِ أَلَا تَتَّقُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Behold, he said to his people, "Will ye not fear ((Allah))?
[ Saheeh International ]
When he said to his people, "Will you not fear Allah?

37:125
[ Original ]
أَتَدْعُونَ بَعْلًا وَتَذَرُونَ أَحْسَنَ الْخَالِقِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
"Will ye call upon Ba'l and forsake the Best of Creators,-
[ Saheeh International ]
Do you call upon Ba'l and leave the best of creators -
Tafseer Commentary

4113 For Ba'1-worship see last note.


37:126
[ Original ]
اللَّهَ رَبَّكُمْ وَرَبَّ آبَائِكُمُ الْأَوَّلِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
"(Allah), your Lord and Cherisher and the Lord and Cherisher of your fathers of old?"
[ Saheeh International ]
Allah, your Lord and the Lord of your first forefathers?"

37:127
[ Original ]
فَكَذَّبُوهُ فَإِنَّهُمْ لَمُحْضَرُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
But they rejected him, and they will certainly be called up (for punishment),-
[ Saheeh International ]
And they denied him, so indeed, they will be brought [for punishment],
Tafseer Commentary

4114 They persecuted him and he had to flee for his life. Eventually he disappeared mysteriously; see n. 4112.


37:128
[ Original ]
إِلَّا عِبَادَ اللَّهِ الْمُخْلَصِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Except the sincere and devoted Servants of Allah (among them).
[ Saheeh International ]
Except the chosen servants of Allah.

37:129
[ Original ]
وَتَرَكْنَا عَلَيْهِ فِي الْآخِرِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And We left (this blessing) for him among generations (to come) in later times:
[ Saheeh International ]
And We left for him [favorable mention] among later generations:
Tafseer Commentary

4115 See above, 37:78-81, and n. 4083.


37:130
[ Original ]
سَلَامٌ عَلَىٰ إِلْ يَاسِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
"Peace and salutation to such as Elias!"(4115-A)
[ Saheeh International ]
"Peace upon Elias."
Tafseer Commentary

4115-A Ilyasin may be an alternative form of Ilyas: Cf. Sayna'a (23:20) and Sinin (95:2). Or it may be the plural of Ilyas, meaning "such people as Ilyas".


37:131
[ Original ]
إِنَّا كَذَٰلِكَ نَجْزِي الْمُحْسِنِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Thus indeed do We reward those who do right.
[ Saheeh International ]
Indeed, We thus reward the doers of good.

37:132
[ Original ]
إِنَّهُ مِنْ عِبَادِنَا الْمُؤْمِنِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
For he was one of our believing Servants.
[ Saheeh International ]
Indeed, he was of Our believing servants.

37:133
[ Original ]
وَإِنَّ لُوطًا لَمِنَ الْمُرْسَلِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
So also was Lut among those sent (by Us).
[ Saheeh International ]
And indeed, Lot was among the messengers.
Tafseer Commentary

4116 The best illustration of this passage about Lut will be found in 7:80-84. He was a prophet sent to Sodom and Gomorrah , Cities of the Plain, by the Dead Sea . The inhabitants were given over to abominable crimes, against which he preached. They insulted him and threatened to expel him. But Allah in His mercy saved him and his family, with one exception, (see the following note), and then destroyed the Cities.


37:134
[ Original ]
إِذْ نَجَّيْنَاهُ وَأَهْلَهُ أَجْمَعِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Behold, We delivered him and his adherents, all
[ Saheeh International ]
[So mention] when We saved him and his family, all,

37:135
[ Original ]
إِلَّا عَجُوزًا فِي الْغَابِرِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Except an old woman who was among those who lagged behind:
[ Saheeh International ]
Except his wife among those who remained [with the evildoers].
Tafseer Commentary

4117 Cf. 7:83, and n. 1051. Lot 's wife had no faith: she lagged behind, and perished in the general ruin.


37:136
[ Original ]
ثُمَّ دَمَّرْنَا الْآخَرِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Then We destroyed the rest.
[ Saheeh International ]
Then We destroyed the others.

37:137
[ Original ]
وَإِنَّكُمْ لَتَمُرُّونَ عَلَيْهِمْ مُصْبِحِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Verily, ye pass by their (sites), by day-
[ Saheeh International ]
And indeed, you pass by them in the morning
Tafseer Commentary

4118 Cf. 15:76, and n. 1998. The tract where they lay is situated on the highway to Syria where the Arab caravans travelled regularly, "by day and by night". Could not future generations learn wisdom from the destruction of those who did wrong?


37:138
[ Original ]
وَبِاللَّيْلِ ۗ أَفَلَا تَعْقِلُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And by night: will ye not understand?
[ Saheeh International ]
And at night. Then will you not use reason?

37:139
[ Original ]
وَإِنَّ يُونُسَ لَمِنَ الْمُرْسَلِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
So also was Jonah among those sent (by Us).
[ Saheeh International ]
And indeed, Jonah was among the messengers.
Tafseer Commentary

4119 For illustrative passages, see 21:87-88, n. 2744, and 68:48-50. Jonah's mission was to the city of Nineveh , then steeped in wickedness. He was rejected and he denounced Allah's wrath on them, but they repented and obtained Allah's forgiveness. But Jonah "departed in wrath" (21:87), forgetting that Allah has Mercy as well as forgiveness. See the notes following, Cf. 10:98, n. 1478.


37:140
[ Original ]
إِذْ أَبَقَ إِلَى الْفُلْكِ الْمَشْحُونِ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
When he ran away (like a slave from captivity) to the ship (fully) laden,
[ Saheeh International ]
[Mention] when he ran away to the laden ship.
Tafseer Commentary

4120 Jonah ran away from Nineveh like a slave from captivity. He should have stuck to his post and merged his own will in Allah's Will. He was hasty, and went off to take a ship. As if he could escape from Allah's Plan!


37:141
[ Original ]
فَسَاهَمَ فَكَانَ مِنَ الْمُدْحَضِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
He (agreed to) cast lots, and he was condemned:
[ Saheeh International ]
And he drew lots and was among the losers.
Tafseer Commentary

4121 The ship was fully laden and met foul weather. The sailors, according to their superstition, wanted to find out who was responsible for the ill-luck: a fugitive slave would cause such ill-luck. The lot fell on Jonah, and he was cast off.


37:142
[ Original ]
فَالْتَقَمَهُ الْحُوتُ وَهُوَ مُلِيمٌ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Then the big Fish did swallow him, and he had done acts worthy of blame.
[ Saheeh International ]
Then the fish swallowed him, while he was blameworthy.
Tafseer Commentary

4122 The rivers of Mesopotamia have some huge fishes. The word used here is Hut, which may be a fish or perhaps a crocodile. If it were in an open northern sea, it might be a whale. The locality is not mentioned: in the Old Testament he is said to have taken ship in the port of Joppa (now Jaffa ) in the Mediterranean (Jonah. 1:3), which would be not less than 600 miles from Nineveh . The Tigris river, mentioned by some of our Commentators, is more likely, and it contains some fishes of extraordinary size.

4123 See n. 4120.


37:143
[ Original ]
فَلَوْلَا أَنَّهُ كَانَ مِنَ الْمُسَبِّحِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Had it not been that he (repented and) glorified Allah,
[ Saheeh International ]
And had he not been of those who exalt Allah,
Tafseer Commentary

4124 "But he cried through the depths of darkness, 'There is no god but Thee; glory to Thee! I was indeed wrong!" (21:87).


37:144
[ Original ]
لَلَبِثَ فِي بَطْنِهِ إِلَىٰ يَوْمِ يُبْعَثُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
He would certainly have remained inside the Fish till the Day of Resurrection.
[ Saheeh International ]
He would have remained inside its belly until the Day they are resurrected.
Tafseer Commentary

4125 This is just the idiom. This was to be the burial and the grave of Jonah. If he had not repented, he could not have got out of the body of the creature that had swallowed him, until the Day of Resurrection, when all the dead would be raised up.


37:145
[ Original ]
فَنَبَذْنَاهُ بِالْعَرَاءِ وَهُوَ سَقِيمٌ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
But We cast him forth on the naked shore in a state of sickness,
[ Saheeh International ]
But We threw him onto the open shore while he was ill.
Tafseer Commentary

4126 Cf. 37:89 above. His strange situation might well have caused him to be ill. He wanted fresh air and solitude. He got both in the open plain, and the abundantly shady Gourd Plant or some fruitful tree like it gave him both shade and sustenance. The Gourd is a creeper that can spread over any roof or ruined structure.


37:146
[ Original ]
وَأَنْبَتْنَا عَلَيْهِ شَجَرَةً مِنْ يَقْطِينٍ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And We caused to grow, over him, a spreading plant of the gourd kind.
[ Saheeh International ]
And We caused to grow over him a gourd vine.

37:147
[ Original ]
وَأَرْسَلْنَاهُ إِلَىٰ مِائَةِ أَلْفٍ أَوْ يَزِيدُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And We sent him (on a mission) to a hundred thousand (men) or more.
[ Saheeh International ]
And We sent him to [his people of] a hundred thousand or more.
Tafseer Commentary

4127 The city of Nineveh was a very large city. The Old Testament says: " Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days' journey" (Jonah, 3:3); "wherein are more than six score thousand persons" (Jonah, 4:11 ). In other words its circuit was about 45 miles, and its population was over a hundred and twenty thousand inhabitants.


37:148
[ Original ]
فَآمَنُوا فَمَتَّعْنَاهُمْ إِلَىٰ حِينٍ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And they believed; so We permitted them to enjoy (their life) for a while.
[ Saheeh International ]
And they believed, so We gave them enjoyment [of life] for a time.
Tafseer Commentary

4128 They repented and believed, and Nineveh got a new lease of life. For the dates to which Jonah maybe referred, and the vicissitudes of the City's history as the seat of the Assyrian Empire, see notes n. 1478-1479 to 10:98. The lessons from Jonah's story are: (1) that no man should take upon himself to judge of Allah's wrath or Allah's mercy; (2) that nevertheless Allah forgives true repentance, whether in a righteous man, or in a wicked city; and (3) that Allah's Plan will always prevail, and can never be defeated.


37:149
[ Original ]
فَاسْتَفْتِهِمْ أَلِرَبِّكَ الْبَنَاتُ وَلَهُمُ الْبَنُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Now ask them their opinion: Is it that thy Lord has (only) daughters, and they have sons?-
[ Saheeh International ]
So inquire of them, [O Muhammad], "Does your Lord have daughters while they have sons?
Tafseer Commentary

4129 We begin a new argument here. The Pagan Arabs called angels daughters of Allah. They themselves were ashamed of having daughters, and preferred to have sons,


37:150
[ Original ]
أَمْ خَلَقْنَا الْمَلَائِكَةَ إِنَاثًا وَهُمْ شَاهِدُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Or that We created the angels female, and they are witnesses (thereto)?
[ Saheeh International ]
Or did We create the angels as females while they were witnesses?"

37:151
[ Original ]
أَلَا إِنَّهُمْ مِنْ إِفْكِهِمْ لَيَقُولُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Is it not that they say, from their own invention,
[ Saheeh International ]
Unquestionably, it is out of their [invented] falsehood that they say,

37:152
[ Original ]
وَلَدَ اللَّهُ وَإِنَّهُمْ لَكَاذِبُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
"(Allah) has begotten children"? but they are liars!
[ Saheeh International ]
" Allah has begotten," and indeed, they are liars.
Tafseer Commentary

4130 Any attribution to Allah of ideas derogatory to His Oneness and His supreme height above all creatures is likely to degrade our own conception of Allah's Universal Plan, and is condemned in the strongest terms.


37:153
[ Original ]
أَصْطَفَى الْبَنَاتِ عَلَى الْبَنِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Did He (then) choose daughters rather than sons?
[ Saheeh International ]
Has He chosen daughters over sons?
Tafseer Commentary

4131 There is the strongest irony in this passage.


37:154
[ Original ]
مَا لَكُمْ كَيْفَ تَحْكُمُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
What is the matter with you? How judge ye?
[ Saheeh International ]
What is [wrong] with you? How do you make judgement?

37:155
[ Original ]
أَفَلَا تَذَكَّرُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Will ye not then receive admonition?
[ Saheeh International ]
Then will you not be reminded?

37:156
[ Original ]
أَمْ لَكُمْ سُلْطَانٌ مُبِينٌ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Or have ye an authority manifest?
[ Saheeh International ]
Or do you have a clear authority?

37:157
[ Original ]
فَأْتُوا بِكِتَابِكُمْ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ صَادِقِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Then bring ye your Book (of authority) if ye be truthful!
[ Saheeh International ]
Then produce your scripture, if you should be truthful.

37:158
[ Original ]
وَجَعَلُوا بَيْنَهُ وَبَيْنَ الْجِنَّةِ نَسَبًا ۚ وَلَقَدْ عَلِمَتِ الْجِنَّةُ إِنَّهُمْ لَمُحْضَرُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And they have invented a blood-relationship between Him and the Jinns: but the Jinns know (quite well) that they have indeed to appear (before his Judgment- Seat)!
[ Saheeh International ]
And they have claimed between Him and the jinn a lineage, but the jinn have already known that they [who made such claims] will be brought to [punishment].
Tafseer Commentary

4132 The angels are at least pure beings engaged in the service of Allah. But the Pagan superstitions not only connect them with Allah as daughters but even connect Allah by relationship with all kinds of spirits, good or evil! In some mythologies the most evil powers are gods or goddesses as if they belonged to the family of Allah the Creator and had some semblance of equality with Him! This, too, is repudiated in the strongest terms. For J inns see n. 929 to 6:100.


37:159
[ Original ]
سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ عَمَّا يَصِفُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Glory to Allah. (He is free) from the things they ascribe (to Him)!
[ Saheeh International ]
Exalted is Allah above what they describe,

37:160
[ Original ]
إِلَّا عِبَادَ اللَّهِ الْمُخْلَصِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Not (so do) the Servants of Allah, sincere and devoted.
[ Saheeh International ]
Except the chosen servants of Allah [who do not share in that sin].
Tafseer Commentary

4133 Those sincere in devotion to Allah never ascribe such degrading ideas to Allah (Cf. 37:74).


37:161
[ Original ]
فَإِنَّكُمْ وَمَا تَعْبُدُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
For, verily, neither ye nor those ye worship-
[ Saheeh International ]
So indeed, you [disbelievers] and whatever you worship,

37:162
[ Original ]
مَا أَنْتُمْ عَلَيْهِ بِفَاتِنِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Can lead (any) into temptation concerning Allah,
[ Saheeh International ]
You cannot tempt [anyone] away from Him
Tafseer Commentary

4134 Evil has no power over faith, truth, and sincerity. Such power as it has is over those who deliberately put themselves in the way of Destruction. It is their own will that leads them astray. If they were fortified against Evil by Faith, Patience, and Constancy, Evil would have no power to hurt them. Allah would protect them,


37:163
[ Original ]
إِلَّا مَنْ هُوَ صَالِ الْجَحِيمِ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Except such as are (themselves) going to the blazing Fire!
[ Saheeh International ]
Except he who is to [enter and] burn in the Hellfire.

37:164
[ Original ]
وَمَا مِنَّا إِلَّا لَهُ مَقَامٌ مَعْلُومٌ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
(Those ranged in ranks say): "Not one of us but has a place appointed;
[ Saheeh International ]
[The angels say], "There is not among us any except that he has a known position.
Tafseer Commentary

4135 To round off the argument of the Surah we go back to the idea with which it began. Those who range themselves in ranks for the united service of Allah (see above, 37:1 and n. 4031)-whether angels or men of God-are content to keep their ranks and do whatever service is assigned to them. It is not for them to question Allah's Plan, because they know that it is good and that it will ultimately triumph. Any seeming delays or defeats do not worry them. Nor do they ever break their ranks.


37:165
[ Original ]
وَإِنَّا لَنَحْنُ الصَّافُّونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
"And we are verily ranged in ranks (for service);
[ Saheeh International ]
And indeed, we are those who line up [for prayer].

37:166
[ Original ]
وَإِنَّا لَنَحْنُ الْمُسَبِّحُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
"And we are verily those who declare ((Allah)'s) glory!"
[ Saheeh International ]
And indeed, we are those who exalt Allah."

37:167
[ Original ]
وَإِنْ كَانُوا لَيَقُولُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And there were those who said,
[ Saheeh International ]
And indeed, the disbelievers used to say,
Tafseer Commentary

4136 There were the sceptics or Unbelievers-primarily the Pagan Arabs, but in a more extended sense, all who doubt Allah's providence or revelation.


37:168
[ Original ]
لَوْ أَنَّ عِنْدَنَا ذِكْرًا مِنَ الْأَوَّلِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
"If only we had had before us a Message from those of old,
[ Saheeh International ]
"If we had a message from [those of] the former peoples,

37:169
[ Original ]
لَكُنَّا عِبَادَ اللَّهِ الْمُخْلَصِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
"We should certainly have been Servants of Allah, sincere (and devoted)!"
[ Saheeh International ]
We would have been the chosen servants of Allah."
Tafseer Commentary

4137 Such men take refuge in ancestral tradition. If our forefathers had had an inkling of Revelation or miracles, or had worshipped as we are now taught to worship, we should gladly have accepted. Or if they had had anything of the miracles which other nations of old are said to have received, we could then have accepted.' But now stronger and more convincing proofs have come to them in the Qur'an in their own tongue, and they doubt and reject it.


37:170
[ Original ]
فَكَفَرُوا بِهِ ۖ فَسَوْفَ يَعْلَمُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
But (now that the Qur'an has come), they reject it: But soon will they know!
[ Saheeh International ]
But they disbelieved in it, so they are going to know.
Tafseer Commentary

4138 Allah's Truth will manifest itself against all odds, and the whole world will see.


37:171
[ Original ]
وَلَقَدْ سَبَقَتْ كَلِمَتُنَا لِعِبَادِنَا الْمُرْسَلِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Already has Our Word been passed before (this) to our Servants sent (by Us),
[ Saheeh International ]
And Our word has already preceded for Our servants, the messengers,

37:172
[ Original ]
إِنَّهُمْ لَهُمُ الْمَنْصُورُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
That they would certainly be assisted,
[ Saheeh International ]
[That] indeed, they would be those given victory

37:173
[ Original ]
وَإِنَّ جُنْدَنَا لَهُمُ الْغَالِبُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And that Our forces,- they surely must conquer.
[ Saheeh International ]
And [that] indeed, Our soldiers will be those who overcome.
Tafseer Commentary

4139 The victory will be the victory of Allah's Truth by the forces of Allah, but every soldier in the army of Truth, who has done his duty, will be entitled to claim a share in the victory.


37:174
[ Original ]
فَتَوَلَّ عَنْهُمْ حَتَّىٰ حِينٍ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
So turn thou away from them for a little while,
[ Saheeh International ]
So, [O Muhammad], leave them for a time.
Tafseer Commentary

4140 Addressed in the first instance to the Prophet, but good for all time. He was not to be discouraged by his initial failures. Soon came victory to him from Allah. So is it always in the struggles of truth and righteousness. The righteous can afford to ignore opposition, confident in the strength which comes from the Grace of Allah.


37:175
[ Original ]
وَأَبْصِرْهُمْ فَسَوْفَ يُبْصِرُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And watch them (how they fare), and they soon shall see (how thou farest)!
[ Saheeh International ]
And see [what will befall] them, for they are going to see.
Tafseer Commentary

4141 Watch and wait, for the Right must come to its own.


37:176
[ Original ]
أَفَبِعَذَابِنَا يَسْتَعْجِلُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Do they wish (indeed) to hurry on our Punishment?
[ Saheeh International ]
Then for Our punishment are they impatient?
Tafseer Commentary

4142 The last verse enjoined Patience under the attacks of Evil, in the knowledge that evil must be conquered at last. Evil may perhaps turn back scoffingly and say. If a punishment is to come, why not bring it on now? Why indeed? The answer is: when it comes, it will come like a rush by night when the enemy is overpowered, when he least expects it: when the day dawns, it is a sorry plight in which the enemy finds himself. Cf. 22:47 , and n. 2826: and 26:204, n. 3230.


37:177
[ Original ]
فَإِذَا نَزَلَ بِسَاحَتِهِمْ فَسَاءَ صَبَاحُ الْمُنْذَرِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
But when it descends into the open space before them, evil will be the morning for those who were warned (and heeded not)!
[ Saheeh International ]
But when it descends in their territory, then evil is the morning of those who were warned.
Tafseer Commentary

4143 See last note. The parable is that of an enemy camp in a plain, which is surprised and destroyed by a night attack from the hills. Evil is the plight of any survivors in the morning. Their regrets will be all the more poignant if they had had some sort of a warning before hand and had paid no heed to it!


37:178
[ Original ]
وَتَوَلَّ عَنْهُمْ حَتَّىٰ حِينٍ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
So turn thou away from them for a little while,
[ Saheeh International ]
And leave them for a time.
Tafseer Commentary

4144 This and the following verse repeat verses 174-175 (with a slight verbal alteration). The argument in verses 176-177 brought in a new point. When that is finished, the repetition carries us back to the main argument, and rounds off the whole Surah.


37:179
[ Original ]
وَأَبْصِرْ فَسَوْفَ يُبْصِرُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And watch (how they fare) and they soon shall see (how thou farest)!
[ Saheeh International ]
And see, for they are going to see.

37:180
[ Original ]
سُبْحَانَ رَبِّكَ رَبِّ الْعِزَّةِ عَمَّا يَصِفُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Glory to thy Lord, the Lord of Honour and Power! (He is free) from what they ascribe (to Him)!
[ Saheeh International ]
Exalted is your Lord, the Lord of might, above what they describe.
Tafseer Commentary

4145 This and the following two verses recapitulate: (1) Glory, Honour, and Power belong to Allah; (2) No one is equal to Him; (3) He sends Messengers and revelations, and His aid will overcome all obstacles; for (4) He loves and cherishes all His Creation.


37:181
[ Original ]
وَسَلَامٌ عَلَى الْمُرْسَلِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And Peace on the messengers!
[ Saheeh International ]
And peace upon the messengers.

37:182
[ Original ]
وَالْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And Praise to Allah, the Lord and Cherisher of the Worlds.
[ Saheeh International ]
And praise to Allah, Lord of the worlds.

Quran Sura/Chapters: